Animal-vehicle collisions are not only scary, but they’re dangerous and can cost you a small fortune. According to AAA, between the years 2001 and 2011, animal collisions were associated with over 2,081 fatal traffic accidents across the country.
Whether it’s a dog, a deer, a cat, or a horse or chickens in a rural area, drivers can be caught off guard by animals in the roadway, and their movements are usually unpredictable, which can make it dangerous for motorists who encounter them. AAA’s advice to drivers is to be cautious and stay alert in order to avoid hitting an animal on the road.
According to AAA, most of the time when drivers hit wildlife, it’s during the fall and winter, but the good news is that most animal-vehicle collisions can be prevented.
What if an Animal Runs in Front of Me?
Have you ever wondered what you should do if an animal runs in front of your vehicle while you’re driving? If you live or drive in a rural area, this thought has probably crossed your mind, however, animals can even be in suburban areas, especially dogs.
What to do if an animal runs in front of you while you’re driving:
- As you drive, scan the road and shoulders in front of you. When you look ahead, it can help provide you more reaction time in case you spot an animal. Keep in mind that wild animals travel in groups so if you see one, there are usually more nearby.
- If there isn’t any oncoming traffic, turn on your high beam lights so you have better visibility.
- If an animal appears in front of your vehicle and you can’t avoid a collision, this is what you do: remain in your lane and firmly apply the brakes. Why not swerve? Because, it can cause an even more serious crash and if you overcorrect with the steering wheel, you can lose control of your vehicle.
- When driving around dawn or dusk, be extra cautious because most wildlife is more active during those times of the day, especially deer.
- If you’re driving in an area with an active wildlife population, slow down and be extra careful. It also helps to become educated about extra wildlife movement during certain times of the year, such as mating and hunting season.